WESTERN Mining’s subsidiary Tibet Yulong Copper Co is commissioning a new crushing mill and control systems at the Yulong Copper Project. The new facilities are expected to improve production and overcome issues caused by cold weather in the elevated area of Tibet in which the mine is located.

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Western Mining officials watch a test run in the new mill at Yulong Copper Project in Tibet Autonomous Region.

The plant was successfully tested in May and is now being ramped up to full daily capacity of 1000 tonnes as part of the commissioning process. It allows for processing of sulphide ore from the mine as well as the oxide ore.

The company says the facilities are an important step towards increasing automation at the mine. They will help eliminate heavy manual labour and prevent issues caused by the harsh environment and unsafe work practices. This will lead to improved labour productivity, reduced labour costs and decreased risk to workers.

As part of the automation process Yulong Copper has also recently commissioned Sinoma Geological Engineering Investigation Institute to complete an environmental impact report for a 3000 tonne beneficiation project at the mine.

Another Western subsidiary which operates the Xitiesan Lead-Zinc Project is modernising operations. The mine is the largest independent lead-zinc operation in China.

As part of the transformation process of the beneficiation plant, which began this year, the company commissioned the Lanzhou Nonferrous Metallurgy Design and Research Institute to prepare a feasibility study.

Western Mining chairman Zhang Yongli said the current Xitiesan facilities and processes were relatively backward and the company wanted to transform these through modernisation and automation in order to achieve greater productivity and reduce operating costs. “We have to win the struggle to win the future and become the industry leader,” he said.

Western Mining is principally engaged in the non-ferrous metals trading business, as well as mining and smelting operations. The company’s main mining products include zinc, lead and copper concentrates. Most operations are in Qinghai Province.

Meantime, Western plans to issue 216 million shares in a non-public offering with funds to be used to take 100% equity positions in Daliang Mining and Qinghai Lithium. Daliang is engaged in lead and zinc mining and dressing while Qinghai Lithium is engaged in production and sales of lithium carbonate.

Western Mining has recently been named as one of China’s top 500 companies by the Chinese edition of Fortune magazine. The list includes Chinese companies listed in China and abroad.

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